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Brown Bottle Boogie Birds...(Cornish Hens) Longish for 2000

Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
edited 2:15PM in EggHead Forum
Now there is only one way to do Cornish Hens...My way..No doubt about it :-) [p]Since this is the first time I have done these, I am now a cornish hen expert..but (Gotta use some biblical expression here, "God willing" and the frost don't hit the pumpkin) I shall succeed.[p]Taking a big swig of ElderBerry Wine here.[p]First thing is preparation, and psyching up ones attitude. Do I dood it?? Yah..what the heck..![p]First thing I did was unfreeze those two little bodies overnight, and then early the next morning (New Years Eve Day) I made some light duty brine of 1/2 cup of Kosher salt and 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar, and heated to just the point of boiling..not quite as it was all disolved by then. Let it chill down..Someone once told me, "Char-Woody chill out" so I guess that is what they meant. :-)[p] Added a few ice cubes after a hour or so to help it along. Also some crushed garlic, tablespoon or so...Tis critical that ya get that exact now. :-)Also some bay leaves!! Add what ya want, thats the critical part :-)[p]Then covered the birdies with the brine in a large mixing bowl and set em in the fridge for about 6 hours...! I like brining..Cat has a nice brine, and Brant, and some others in the recipe section..[p]There was a couple of recent posts also with terrific brine recipes. I hope they make it to the recipe archives. I could copy em here, but I think the posters deserve the credits.[p]Back to the birdies...About 4:00 in the afteroon I start back to work on em..dug em out of the fridge and rinsed all the brine off thoroughly!
Dry the little bodies with paper towels inside and outside...I could have sworn I heard em giggle when I dried em under the wings..:-)[p]Once dried, I rubbed em down with high grade olive oil while taking another sip of that wine, and humming "Dixie" at the same time. Or was it Our Iowa State Hawkeye song?? Forgot now!! Hey, watch those Iowa Cyclones rumble this year. Back to the birdies...[p]Once I had em coated with oils I dusted the inside and outside with dry rubs..(anything will do here, just plain old salt and pepper if ya want too..but get critical with it..I use either sea salt or kosher salt and either grind fresh pepper or use ordinary) Decisions, decisions!![p]Here is the best part...I had one bottle of my Guiness Stout left, and on top of Elderberry Wine it is terrific. I was going to use it here but drank it all. Lesson from KennyG..:-) So I dug out one more empty matching brown bottle and took the lables off the top ends so my birdies would sit on em proper.[p]Filled em half full of Bud Light and stuck those cuties on the bottles. I stepped back and admired em and dang if they didn't look like two piano players on stools..Good lookers...!! No candelabra tho!! That comes later..:-)[p]I also treated two bone in chicken breast to do along with em for emergency in case of failure..(Happens sometimes) [p]I took a minute or two to prep the Large BGE and made sure my grates were clear of ash..stirred the left over lump around and causually dumped in a bucket of lump on top..Its critical that ya do this casually. :-)..I had a can of cut up fire logs chunks that I use in fire starting and usually start one in my hand and drop it in the exact very center of the pile..and when its burning good, I work it down to the grate level and toss a few chunks over the top being carefull not to smother the burning cube. [p]This time I noted that I had a nice accumulation of firelog residule so rather than light a chunk, I tossed the powered log into the middle and lit it. Dang, but it took right off, and I shook the burning particles down into the charcoal..Worked great...Now I am going to pound the bejeebers out of my fire more cutting..:-)[p]I have set of stackable baking racks from Bakers Advantage, and I used one of em over a drip pan, and set the two Brown Bottled Birds in a pie tin, on the rack over the drip pan that was resting on several firebricks. Birds resting in the very center of the rack and then put the two chicken breast on each side of the pie tin directly on the racks. They dripped into the lower pan while the two Brown Bottle birds accumulated drippings in the pie tin.[p]BGE was coasting at 325 degrees and the birdies went in at exactly 5:00 p.m. with no polders, and 1 1/2 hour later they came out done beautifully with breast temp of 190 degrees and so moist they squirted juice. Fall off the bone perfect. Georgeous eating.[p]My first try with em..nothing is perfect and a lot of the above is in jest and fun. I could have written this in one paragraph, but I know ya'all like to read...heeeeeee. Have fun..those Cornish Hens are worth doing..over and over and over again...Bye.....C~W[p](BTW...the breast were also perfect, and resting for supper tonight as leftovers. Never got touched.)[p]


  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Char-Woody,[p]You win a special award for Most Entertaining Post of 2000 (I bet it stands up 'til 2001). Instructive too![p]Thanks for sharing a great story *and* a great technique -[p]Cathy[p]
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Char-Woody,[p]Them little birds sure can be done up nice. They make an attractive presentation too.[p]Spin

  • FritzFritz Posts: 179
    Char-Woody,[p]I was gonna buy a pair of cornish hen sitters but I guess I can dont have to now......[p]Fritz
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    The benefits of creating your own is outstanding. Hic! BTW..the reason for the extra pie plate was because the simi mini bottle bottoms wobbled on the grate. Even smaller alluminum trays would work..Dang good eating!
    Bigger birds of course require the better ceramic Willy Sitters..I cannot wait to do a dozen of these KennyG style.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Cat, hey thank's! From a great cooking heroine like you that's a lift. Besides, I had the last laugh looking at the bone pile. They are a fun thing to do! :-)
    Cheers and good beers...Char-Woody

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Spin, Your right, and I don't know what made me think of Smoking Bob when they were steaming away on the platter! Where is that guy lately??

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Char-Woody,[p]As always, you gave us an excellent post.[p]I do have one concern about the safety of using a beer bottle on the grill. It seems that if it did break you would be out the whole shooting match. Sometimes just the temperature differential between the part of the bottle in the hen and the exposed neck could be enough to crack the bottle. That’s enough about that, just a thought.[p]You sparked another idea while I was reading.[p]You mentioned Guinness and Elderberry Wine. Here is the concept, instead of a Black’N’Tan how about a
    Black’N’Purple. One of my favorite uses of Guinness is to fill a glass half full (half empty?) of Hard Cider, such as Woodchuck or Woodpecker. Then I slowly pour the Guinness over the back of a spoon in order to float the Guinness on the Cider. The sweet of the hard cider and the bitterness of the Guinness is exquisite. The two colors in the same glass is also impressive.[p]Back to the Black’N’Puple, try the Elderberry Wine in place of the Cider.[p]Come to think of it I do have a bottle of Guinness and a Bottle of Cider in the fridge … [p]See you guys (and gals) tomorrow,

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Your right of course..directly on the grill would be a no brainer..:-)
    That's where you would use the ceramic Willy Sitters, but they don't make em tiny enuff for the bitty birds, unfortunatly!! :-)
    With the cold bud light inside, and the moderately cool birds capping the top, and resting on the aluminum pie pan/firebricks for support, it seemed to adjust to the higher 325 heat level nicely. No problem.[p] really put a twist on the Guiness combo..That sounds superb...Nice input from you as always also..:-)

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    The Barbeque Willies cornish hen sitters,2 for $13.95 plus shipping,let me know if you order some,i might have to try them myself.I just got turkey and chicken sitters from them,Charles was nice to deal with.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    YB, Thanks YB...I wonder if they give quantity discounts..I would like to do a dozen at a time for a real banquet..:-)
    They would be a match for my twin chicken sitters and my single Turkey Sitter. BTW, I don't use the Turkey sitter that much anymore. But I shall for the smaller dinner turkeys. Sure nicer for cleanup.

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Your welcome,i kind of like them little critters myself,cornish hens that is.I'm with you,i cooked 2 large turkeys for Christmas,one on willies turkey sitter the other on a v-rack and drip pan,v-rack and drip pan won.

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